eDiscovery to Get a Fillip with DISCO

June 23, 2017

A legal technology company has unveiled the next generation AI platform that will reduce time, efforts and money spent by law firms and large corporations on mundane legal discovery work. Named DISCO, the program was in beta phase for two years.

PR distribution platform BusinessWire in a release titled DISCO Launches Artificial Intelligence Platform for Legal Technology quotes:

While there will be many applications for DISCO AI, initially the focus is to dramatically reduce the time, burden, and cost of identifying evidence in legal document review — a process known as eDiscovery.

Many companies have attempted to automate the process of eDiscovery, the success rates, however, have been far from encouraging. Apart from disrupting the legal industry, automated processes like the ones offered by DISCO will render many people in the industry jobless. AI creators, however, say that their intention is to speed up the process and reduce costs to organizations. But again, as technology advances, job losses are inevitable.

Vishal Ingole,  June 23, 2017

Make Your Amazon Echo an ASMR Device

June 7, 2017

For people who love simple and soothing sounds, the Internet is a boon for their stimulation.  White noise or ambient noise is a technique many people use to relax or fall asleep.  Ambient devices used to be sold through catalogs, especially Sky Mall, but now any sort of sound can be accessed through YouTube or apps for free.  Smart speakers are the next evolution for ambient noise.  CNET has a cool article that explains, “How To Turn Your Amazon Echo Into A Noise Machine.”

The article lists several skills that can be downloaded onto the Echo and the Echo Dot.  The first two suggestions are music skills: Amazon Prime Music and Spotify.  Using these skills, the user can request that Alexia finds any variety of nature sounds and then play them on a loop.  It takes some trial and error to find the perfect sounds to fit your tastes, but once found they can be added to a playlist.  An easier way, but might offer less variety is:

One of the best ways to find ambient noise or nature sounds for Alexa is through skills. Developer Nick Schwab created a family of skills under Ambient Noise. There are currently 12 skills or sounds to choose from:

  • Airplane

  • Babbling Brook

  • Birds

  • City

  • Crickets

  • Fan

  • Fireplace

  • Frogs

  • Ocean waves

  • Rainforest

  • Thunderstorms

  • Train

Normally, you could just say, “Alexa, open Ambient Noise,” to enable the skill, but there are too many similar skills for Alexa to list and let you choose using your voice. Instead, go to alexa.amazon.com or open the iOS or Android app and open the Skills menu. Search for Ambient Noise and click Enable.

This is not a bad start for ambient noises, but the vocal command adds its own set of problems.  Amazon should consider upgrading their machine learning algorithms to a Bitext-based solution.  If you want something with a WHOLE lot more variety to check out YouTube and search for ambient noise or ASMR.

Whitney Grace, June 7, 2017

Snapchat Introduces Search Feature

May 29, 2017

Photo-sharing app Snapchat is late to the search game, but it has now arrived. The Daily Mail reports, “Snapchat Introduces a ‘Universal Search’ Feature: Tool Lets You Create Groups and Find New People to Follow.” Writer Abigail Beall explains:

Snapchat’s universal search bar hopes to address an issue some users had with the photograph-sharing app – the difficulty in finding new people to follow and gaining a large following. Previously, the only way people could gain a following was by sharing their username, or Snapcode, outside of the app. The new search bar, that will always be present at the top of the app, will allow people to find users easily through searching, discovering and groups. …

 

The new feature also lets users create groups, to combine snaps. Previously, boxes for finding specific conversations, accounts to follow and Stories or Discover channels were all in different places.

The tool was implemented for some Android users in mid-January, with availability to all Android and iOS users to follow “soon.” Beall notes the development was predicted by some last August after Snapchat acquired Vurb, a mobile search startup founded in 2011 and based in San Francisco.

Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, bills itself as a camera company that is reinventing the camera. The company has acquired nine other enterprises since its founding in 2011. Snap is now selling (through their special vending machines!)  Spectacles, sunglasses with a camera on each temple that, of course, link right in with Snapchat.

Cynthia Murrell, May 29, 2017

UK Big Brother Invades More Privacy

April 18, 2017

The United Kingdom has been compared to George Orwell’s 1984 dystopia before, especially in the last two decades with their increasing amount of surveillance technology.  Once more UK citizens face privacy invasion reports the Guardian in “UK Public Faces Mass Invasion Of Privacy As Big Data And Surveillance Merge.”  The UK’s Surveillance Camera Commissioner Tony Porter expressed his worry that government regulators were unable to keep up with technological advances.

Big data combined with video surveillance, facial recognition technology, and the profuse use of more cameras is making it harder to protect individuals’ privacy.  People are being recorded 24/7 and often without their knowledge.  Another worry is that police are not being vigilant with private information.  One example is that license plate information has not been deleted after the two-year limit.

Porter wants changes to be made in policies and wants people to be aware of the dangers:

Porter’s new strategy, published on Tuesday, points out that an overwhelming majority of people currently support the use of CCTV in public places. But he questions whether this support can continue because of the way surveillance is changing.

 

‘I’m worried about overt surveillance becoming much more invasive because it is linked to everything else,’ Porter said. ‘You might have a video photograph of somebody shopping in Tesco. Now it is possible to link that person to their pre-movements, their mobile phone records, any sensor detectors within their house or locality. As smart cities move forward, these are challenges are so much greater for people like myself. And members of the public need to decide whether they are still happy with this.’

Porter admitted that advanced surveillance technology had allowed law enforcement to arrest terrorists and track down missing people, but it still can lead to worse privacy invasions.  Porter hopes is new three-year strategy will inform authorities about how technology will impact privacy.

The good thing about surveillance technology is how it can track down bad guys, but it can be harmful to innocent citizens.  The BBC should run some PSAs about video surveillance and privacy to keep their citizens informed.  I suggest they do not make them as scary as this one about electricity.

Whitney Grace, April 18, 2017

Cortana Becomes an MD

April 17, 2017

Smartphone assistants like Microsoft’s Cortana are only good for verbal Internet searches.  They can be made smarter with an infusion of machine learning and big data.  According to Neowin, Microsoft is adding NLP and AI to Cortana and sending it to medical school, “The UK’s Health Services Now Relies On Cortana Intelligence Suite To Read Medical Research.”

Microsoft takes a lot of flak for their technology, but they do offer comprehensive solutions that do amazing things…when they work.  The UK Health Services will love and hate their new Cortana Intelligence Suite.  It will be utilized to read and catalog medical research to alert medical professionals to new trends in medicine:

Researching and reading can consume medical professionals’ times, stealing a valuable resource from patients.

That’s why the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is now relying on Microsoft’s Cortana Intelligence Suite for sifting through medical data. NICE uses machine-learning algorithms to look at published medical research, categorize it, and feed it to volunteer citizen scientists which then re-categorizes and processes it. This leaves researchers time to go through the final data, interpret and understand it, without having to waste time on the way. It also forms a virtuous cycle, whereby the citizen scientists feed the computer algorithm data and improve it, and the computer algorithm feeds the volunteers better data, speeding up their work.

Medical professionals need to be aware of current trends and how medical research is progressing, but the shear amount of papers and information available is an impossible feat to control.  Cortana can smartly parry down the data and transform it into digestible, useful material.

Whitney Grace, April 17, 2017

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